Disclaimers and Author's Notes: See Part 1
Someone In The Shadows - Part 4
Just then, the door to the Oval Office opened and Mrs.
Landingham stepped in to interrupt any further
"Mr. President, Ron Butterfield is here, sir," the
kindly assistant, who was like a surrogate mother to
all of us, reported.
"Send him in," President Bartlet ordered.
Ron Butterfield, the head of the President's Secret
Service detail, who seems to me like an intimidating
man, entered the Oval Office. He had already been
briefed of our situation.
"Ron, why can't Secret Service do something about
this?" President Bartlet demanded.
"Mr. President, with all due respect, there is a way
for us still catch these people. If these ladies will
agree to it, we can tap their phones and trace the
location of the person or persons responsible." If we
agree to it, what is he, nuts? We are scared witless
and he's wondering if we will agree to his plan? I
glanced at Margaret, just as she spoke up.
"Are you crazy? Of course we'll agree to it! This
guy's got us scared witless! Please do what you can
to help us!" she exclaimed. I looked at the Senior
Staff. They looked stunned.
"What?" I asked them.
"Nothing, Donna," CJ said calmly.
I could feel myself starting to unravel. "What,
you're surprised that we're scared? This guy is
taking away our lives! We need help…" I burst into
tears and sank into the nearest chair. I felt myself
being surrounded by the other assistants. I looked up
and caught a look in Josh's eyes. He looked helpless.
In all my years of knowing him, Josh Lyman has never
looked helpless. I don't want his pity or his
sympathy. I want him to see me as more than his
assistant, maybe even more than his friend… Whoa, back
up. I'm really starting to lose my mind in this
chaos. Did I just say I want Josh to see me as more
than his friend? Where did that come from?
"Ron, go set up what you need to," President Bartlet
ordered. He came over to our group. "You are very
brave and no one in this room could think of you as
weak. I'm just glad you let us help you. I meant
what I said earlier-you are part of this
administration family and families help each other in
times of trouble. But we still have a country to run.
Take a few minutes to collect yourselves and let's
get back to work."
"C'mon guys," Carol encouraged us. "We can get
through today and maybe tonight we'll have some
I wiped away my tears and gave my friends a smile.
"Let's go to work."
As I looked at my fellow assistants, I knew they
looked better than they had in the past two days.
Maybe we'd get through this after all.
I managed to get through the day without jumping out
of my skin or snapping at people. All in all, it was
a pretty normal day. Except for the fact that there
is some guy stalking me and five of my friends, plus
my boss, who I happen to think a great deal of, is
spending the night at my apartment.
Josh, on the other hand, hovered over me all day. I
mean, he wouldn't let me go anywhere alone. It's
sweet and all, but I can't take too much more. He's
not letting me leave until he can follow me home. It
makes me wonder what he's thinking.
Josh did follow me home that night. Luckily there was
nothing waiting on my doorstep. Maybe this guy has
lost his nerve. Ron Butterfield had also assigned a
Secret Service agent to each one of our locations.
That was very reassuring. As my agent, Jeff, waited
outside, I let Josh into my apartment. Thank goodness
I had cleaned up a couple of nights ago!
"Well, are you hungry? I've got some stew, all I
would have to do is heat it up."
Josh nodded. "Sure, that sounds good. I don't want
to be any trouble."
That was it? No wise cracks about my cooking? I'm a
little disappointed. Josh and I have built our
relationship on bantering and teasing.
"I'll go take care of that, why don't you make
yourself at home."
When he didn't say anything in reply, I headed into
the kitchen. Once I had put the pot of stew on the
stove, I went to change out of my work clothes. I
changed into a comfortable pair of sweats and headed
back to my living room to watch television with Josh.
We didn't really need to talk, we just settled into a
Just then the phone rang. I looked at Josh nervously.
Josh motioned to the phone as he said, "It's okay,
I'm here for you."
With that encouragement, I reached for the phone.
"Hello blondie," a voice growled.
My eyes widened with fear as Josh bolted for the door
to tell Jeff.
"Does your Jew boss think he can protect you?" The
He continued to ramble on about how it was a shame
that the shooters missed Charlie, but at least they
got a Jew. He talked about how President Bartlet was
a fool for letting blacks and Jews that close to him.
Of course, that isn't exactly what he said. His
choices of words are too disgusting and ugly to
"None of you are safe," he hissed and then the phone
My hands shook as I placed the receiver back in its
cradle. By this time, Josh had returned with Jeff in
"They're tracing the call," Jeff reported. I can only
assume that "they" are the United States Secret
"Do you think they'll catch him?" Josh asks.
"We'll find out soon enough. Come on, the stew will
get cold if we don't eat! Jeff, there's plenty. Can
you join us?"
The beefy guard shook his head. "No ma'am, I can't
join you. I'm supposed to stay outside."
"Okay. C'mon Josh, let's eat!" Maybe if I can keep
up this false bravado, he won't question me about the
call. I don't want to tell him all the awful things
that man said about him. Knowing Josh like I do,
he'll blame himself for all the happenings. I don't
want to cause him any more pain.
Luckily, the stew didn't burn and we sat down to
dinner. Josh looked at me questioningly.
"Do you want to talk about it?" he asked.
"Talk about what?"
"Look, there's nothing you or I can do about this
right now. The Secret Service is handling it. All I
want to do is enjoy dinner."
Josh seemed taken aback at the sarcasm in my voice. I
instantly felt guilty. I mean, he is here trying to
keep me company and in some macho way, I think he
thinks that he is protecting me.
"I'm sorry, Josh. This can't be easy for you either.
All you've done is be my friend and I snap at you."
"It's okay, Donna…"
"No it's not okay. I haven't been very appreciative
of what you did by coming to stay here tonight. It
makes me feel better knowing that you're here, I enjoy
Josh smiled, "Yeah, I enjoy the company too,
He called me Donnatella. Josh Lyman is the only
person in the world who can call me by my full name
and make me smile.
END PART FOUR
Someone In The Shadows - 5